RELEX Solutions Acquires Formulate to Advance Promotional Planning Solutions as Part of Unified Platform

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Mikko Kärkkäinen

HELSINKI– RELEX Solutions announced today it has acquired Formulate, a Swedish promotion planning and analytics company, building upon its position as a trusted provider of unified retail planning solutions. The acquisition is a major step in RELEX’s commitment to offering a best-in-class unified platform with a robust promotion planning solution for retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies across the globe.

Efficient promotional planning is an increasingly crucial factor to consider for retailers but is also notoriously difficult to manage, time-consuming, and mistakes can be costly. Lack of quality forecasting and scenario testing damages retailers’ overall business and logistics strategy, leading to a loss of 30-40% of promotional sales and 15-30% of promotion profits.

With this acquisition, retailers will benefit from improved planning and optimization capabilities for each stage of the promotion process with the help of proprietary AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics in an easily accessible and understandable way. Founded in 2016, Formulate offers world-class AI-based analytics for evaluating, predicting, and planning retail promotions. The company’s customers have reported a 15% profit improvement on promoted items, 75% time saved per person per week on promo analysis and forecasting, and 20% sales uplift on promoted items. Formulate’s customers include Coop in Sweden and Estonia, Mathem, and Reitan Convenience (Pressbyrån and 7-ELEVEN).

The acquisition by RELEX Solutions comes on the heels of a €500M funding round led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business — the largest growth funding round ever raised by a Finnish growth company. The acquisition will strengthen the RELEX supply chain and retail platform and allow the Formulate software to reach a more extensive global network of customers. In 2021, RELEX grew its customer base to over 350 clients and almost doubled its software revenue bookings. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the company has offices in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. RELEX’s clients include Dollar Tree, M&S Food, Franprix, Morrisons, PetSmart, Sephora, and Rossmann, among others.

“Now, more than ever, retailers and brands need promotion planning and optimization that adapts to a fast-paced consumer environment and uncovers the true effect of promotions,” said Andreas Willgert, Co-Founder and CEO of Formulate. “That’s why we’re excited to partner with RELEX and accelerate our growth and reach a wider customer base. Formulate will be fully integrated into the unified RELEX Living Retail Platform, which will allow us to bring this great technology to more retailers across the globe, helping retailers and brands achieve marked results in their promotion planning.”

“RELEX and Formulate offer valuable services that are already very aligned, and between both companies, we have a great deal in common, including many of the same customers. This acquisition will strengthen our product portfolio in an area where our business is experiencing high customer demand,” said Mikko Kärkkäinen, RELEX’s Group CEO. “Their cutting-edge, innovative promotion planning solution and highly skilled promotional experts will be a great cultural fit for RELEX and a perfect addition to our suite of solutions. We are excited to help bring this technology to the global retail market and improve our customers’ experience.”